Creepy Crawl Punk Venu


If it’s anything St. Louis has no shortage of—it’s the various small-dive punk clubs. Some open, some close—R.I.P. as rents go up with the gentrifying neighborhoods. Your best bet is something in the shuttered industrial-district on the grimy edge of city limits, a rose-carving in a wrought iron-gate for the dank atmosphere of auto-exhaust and the sewers.

Cheap shows– $10 for a night of mayhem, if the bands on the bill aren’t terribly well-known.

You have a thrasher, maybe a left-wing skinhead from the old Eastern bloc countries who weaves through the audience in a green bomber jacket, his boots laced-up with red anti-fa shoelaces. Punk is maybe an open-minded series of observations, individually subjective for all the strange flavors of variety. He looks like “that guy from Anthrax”, as you could only be referring to Scott Ian, like earnest gung-ho driftwood and goofy-foot guitar hopping like cargo shorts and raked guitar strings.

You also have “wise-guys” with the sly, perceptive art of observation. Maybe he’d be a cartoonist or just a clerk at 7-Eleven. View-askew, a cap turned sideways and a clever t-shirt of some scribbled vintage. His state is constant bemusement through a pair of pop-eyed glasses.

Don’t forget the crew of goth chicks, skin as pale as cottage-cheese in the artsy, performance-based world of witchcraft and “large, in-charge” antics. She definitely knows what she wants, the raven-haired streak of appetite and life-force like a fish tank of gleaming glass beads and murkier smells of paint and incense. Pick one or the other, like sisters differentiated slightly by personality but still wonderfully mysterious.

You have the blonde, dreadlocked stoner and “outside-the-box” thinker with a tragic overbite and clenched, silent intent hanging his arms out of his Rastafarian shirt colors for a hop and kick of the hackey-sack. . . . . a game of ultimate-frisbee. Attention Deficit Disorder as the mild, silent-type who fits the bill of all stoner-lore and comic-relief.

And there’s a sour, chirpy lark who’s small but as overflowing with punch as an atomic warhead for chewing gum and eyes lighting up with mischief. Contrarian and street-wise like a pill of cyanide, swallowing a straw of pixie-stix and flailing around until she collapses from a blown-out sugar-high and gets back on the stage to do it again, diving back in the pit.

These would be Lydia’s friends. . .. . . a gang of indie-media slackers living off their parents’ largess and in the artistic lifestyle of alt-rudderless experience. Where Lydia goes, they go—fleshing out this Beetlejuice 2 movie as the plot coalesces in a strange world and becomes a film.

You will here more about them. . . . . the St. Louis experience. Stay tuned!


Creepy Crawl Punk Venu

Heavy Metal Parking Lot

Now we go to a bit of curb-side commentary. . . . . “Heavy Metal Parking Lot” can’t be beat!

See it now—see it here—as real as it gets. . . . . as two amateur joes in television wandered around a parking lot with a camera and microphone.  Before smart-phones, smack dab middle in the randomness of all existence— a postcard from the pre-internet era.

There, an amphitheater rises out of the muggy summer dusk—this little snatch of buzzing cicadas and choked weeds. Down in Virginia—or was it Maryland?— a big show, a local event—beery brain-pans sniffing after the rich possibility of existence for how things seemed “in 1986”.

This is a video about metal-heads, for metal-heads. The medium, the message—a way of life.

You shall know it—feckless spontaneity and broken tennis-shoes like a raised brew.

An underground video popular with tape-traders. Bootlegged so many times, no one made money in the overall culture of drifters, dopers, burn-out’s, metal-heads, and apathetic street rabble congregated in this under-documented barnacle of the country.

It was a world of concert flyers and late night rock radio.

Dead-end jobs and corner drug-buys, literally thrashing it out of you—the curving horizon of all that was seen in heard under the purpling dome of sky. Bon-fires, bottle rockets, backroads—always the whirl of blow-flies and saw-dust amid the big stoner cook-out, like varmints and tail-gaiters at a bbq.

Stray lumber, flung-aside wooden pallets with a tractor pulling along a flat-bed of baled hay. Planting season, the June harvest—a two-bit, nowhere town. You shall know it by the wilder, woolier fields & streams of cheap scrubland and backwoods capitalism, industrial strength.

Beetlejuice would know this place

You had a homely country girl, her legs wrapped in a shower curtain like a torn, home-made dress drinking gin. Gap-toothed enthusiasts in rock concert t-shirts like rabble and lot-lice and somewhere, the aura of the military like the patriotic backbone and prerogative to kill.

Heavy metal dreams, escapist fantasy.

Nothing like a crowd, young and stupid. . . . . as he puts his arms around two concert-goer’s shoulders and mutters confidentially.

(– Or at least we take the ability to speculate he would)

Never far from the fever swamps of Baltimore where Edgar Alan Poe drafted macabre dreams as a proto heavy metal creative.  Death—touching the face of nothingness. Power, like a chain-mailed fist. Dungeons & Dragons—a thief, an elf—a jaundiced, darting-eyed teenager in a black concert t-shirt with an askance appreciation for life’s little underhanded victories.

You could guess a ticket-holding reveler would walk away, reasonably intact. Whatever ignorance of the day and bygone rotting husks along the road as you trip by and kick the dirt.

You lived for the touring show, roadies and gypsies and exploding flash-pots and guitar feedback from Marshal stacks 12-feet high. A chewy bass-line and crashing drums as the singer snaked-around to the rhythm and lead guitars bristled and smoked like pustules—as fans pumped their fists and cigarettes tangled over peach-fuzzed chins.

You could literally feel it all the way up to the rafters and cheap seats— release.

Pop the tape in. Vivid, gross, vulgar video-tape with sweat and pimples and all. Recycled experience. Be a rumpus-room ganja Buddha reclined back on the throne of self—majestic, subtle, and just. Dunderheaded realization accruing like fly-specks, fried neurology and electric kilowatts of loopy, punch-drunk insight like warmed over Koolaid as you watched cartoons on a beat-up old t.v. Gonzo cartoon adventures—robots running over an electrical space-grid with badly-dubbed English.

. . . . . So who says you haven’t seen the rings of Saturn? Blink in good-natured surprise. You might see a bit of yourself on a grainy, duped VHS copy. Registering time—everywhere, nowhere all at once as affairs of state floated high above, as grand and distant as a zeppelin in Reagan’s America.

“15 minutes of fame” for an artifact no longer than about 15 minutes as the directors went on to film other parking lots. Classic American folk-art for the post video-age. Your calling card—the street level of fandom and the jostle of the historical record as seen by anyone, anywhere.

Now on YouTube and immortalized online.

grim_one_indeed    garish_t_shirt

Read more here–

Heavy Metal Parking Lot

Princess Brat Hostess

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For youthful, fresh perspectives– you can’t go wrong with local community radio as kids have the naivete and faithlessness to declare themselves a punk princess impressio in a doll-house of young, kicking energy for the sake of local interest and avoiding true career callings. Lydia runs along the punk/artistic circles and gleefully drags-along her clique of oddball friends, like “skate-rats”, “hippie-girls”, and street characters as they bicker around themselves and fill in stretches of dialogue in the glittering hang-out of Utopia Studios.

The odd, the strange, the unusual, the transgressive– bands playing and imagery flashing on from a projector “like a real head-trip”. Below is footage of Nirvana playing at a campus studio up at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. You can see ingenious blue-screen tricks and some of what’s in the background is from Haxan, a 1922 Swedish/Danish film that was once narrated by Beat oddball, William S. Burroughs.

An hallucinogenic trip for kids dancing and writhing in the strobe-lights to strange energies as it gives you more of a feel for who Lydia is, or what’s true to her character as you can’t write-down this stuff, necessarily– only watch and appreciate.

Coming to a theater near you, “Beetlejuice 2”!!

(– At least how I see it. . . . .)

Princess Brat Hostess

Punk-Rock Sketchbook

This is a goofy “backstage scene” and close-up introspective of the drummer, from the band “Danzig” who Lydia Deetz would have a fun repoire with. Their music is best, defined as black, southern California metal with a gothic twist– sunglasses and leather jackets. Metal concerts are a night of mystery, and post-adolescent excitement as Lydia goes, often and sometimes hosts her show, from stage as she goes out and jokes into the microphone. The clubs are papered-over with flyers and brain-numbed bartenders and other workers, stud-metal and black attire, required as I see here on the local St. Louis concert-front, morbidly luminescent as always like the path of the raven’s flight.

Punk-Rock Sketchbook